Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatments

In the mid 1990’s, applying a pulsed electrical stimulation to nerves was developed as a novel approach to relieving pain. The effect of the stimulation is to change the function of the nerve tissue and alter the transmission of pain signals along the pain-sensing pathway to reduce pain (ie. neuromodulation). This can be especially helpful for pain conditions that are the result of nerve damage or irritation.

The treatment is performed in a day surgery using specialised equipment and x-ray guidance. A light sedation is administered by an anaesthetist to optimise your comfort. Depending on your response to the treatment, your Pain Specialist may use pulsed radiofrequency singly or in a series of sessions to optimise its effect.

Many studies have shown PRF to be safe and effective, and complications are rare with precise needle positioning techniques and x-ray guidance. Complications include (but are not limited to) infection, bleeding or bruising, damage to nearby structures, allergic or other drug reactions. While the procedure itself is not very painful, you may experience a post-procedural flare of your pain before the full benefit develops over 2-3 days. You should consult your Pain Specialist to discuss the specific benefits and risks of any procedure you intend to undertake.

Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment can be helpful in the treatment of:

  • Back and leg pain, Radicular leg pain or “Sciatica” (Dorsal Root Ganglion PRF)
  • Back/Buttock Pain or Cluneal Neuropathy (Cluneal Nerve)
  • Occipital Neurlagia (Occipital Nerve)
  • Shoulder Pain (Suprascapular Nerve)
  • Inguinal or Groin Pain
  • Other peripheral nerve pain


Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Northern Pain Centre can facilitate you obtaining a second opinion. Please discuss this with us.